By Duncan Mackay

Channel Ten logosMay 13 - Television rights for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have been sold to the Ten Network, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed today.

insidethegames had reported yesterday that a $20 million (£13 million/€15 million) deal had been agreed with the channel after they failed to sell a package which also included the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. 

The IOC said Network Ten has acquired broadcast rights across all media platforms in Australia.

"Sochi 2014 will be the first Olympic Winter Games held in Russia, and sports fans around the world will be tuning in to follow the very best of Olympic winter sport next February," said IOC President Jacques Rogge.

"Australia is a sports loving nation with passionate Olympic fans, and therefore we are very pleased to be able to announce this agreement with Ten to ensure fantastic broadcast coverage of the Olympic Winter Games."

Ten chief executive Hamish McLennan said the move was part of an overall strategy by the network to invest more in sport.

Ten have also lodged a $500 million (£326 million/€386 million) bid for the next five-year cricket domestic and international broadcast rights starting later this year.

"We are delighted that Ten will be Australia's Olympic network in 2014," said McLennan.

"The agreement with the IOC delivers on our strategy to increase our investment in premium sport.

"Australia will field its largest-ever Winter Olympic team at Sochi, and we are confident that some of those 56 athletes will be among the Games' star performers.

"We are also confident that Australian viewers and advertisers will embrace our coverage of the Sochi Games."

Richard Carrión, chairman of the IOC Finance Commission, had led the negotiations.

"Ten is an experienced sports broadcaster with a clear passion for the Olympic Games," he said.

"The agreement ensures there will be extensive free television coverage of next year's Olympic Winter Games, as well as the very best broadcast coverage on other media platforms, including online and mobile."

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